Tropical Biology Section
Fumero-Cabán, José J. .
Reproductive phenology of Guaiacum sanctum in two Caribbean islands.
The phenology of tropical dry forest plants is very complex due to the fact that the observed phonological pattern is the interplay between the climate (i.e., seasonality), micro-site variation in water availability and plant adaptation to manage water stress and increase plant fitness. Dry forest plants show different strategies to deal with the seasonality in water availability. The focal plant species of this research is Lignum-vitae or locally known as “GuayacĂˇn Blanco”. Guaiacum sanctum is a slow growing small tree species in the Zygophyllaceae and is an important, threatened timber native tree species of the Neotropical dry forest life zone and is listed in Appendix II of CITES and it is also listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUNC) Red List of Threatened Species with a status of “endangered”. The study sites are the GuĂˇnica Dry Forest and Mona Island Reserve. We performed observations to document the phenological behavior of this tree species by scoring the changes we observed on the crowns on year 2008. We found the species behaved as a leaf interchanger. The species drop senescent leaf, flush new leaf and flower simultaneously in the dry season. Guaiacum sanctum flowers from February to June but major observed flowering peaks were in February, April and June. This pattern was similar between the two study sites, however, the intensity of the flowering peaks differ among populations. Fruits take almost four months to develop and fruits mature and seeds were dispersed by birds at the beginning of the wet season on October. Knowledge on reproductive phenology of Guaiacum sanctum is important to understand the pollination ecology, reproduction and demography of this endangered tree species from the Caribbean dry forest.
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1 - University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, PO Box 21910, San Juan, PR, 00931-1910, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for BSA Sections
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM